Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JWtheJayhawk

......and you perfer using a third-party viewers becauce?

Recommended Posts

I recently downloaded and installed the third-party viewer firestorm. After trying it out for a short time I was unimpressed (to put it mildly) and went back to using the regular Second Life client.

 

Thanks to a feature inside firestorm I noticed a great many of you were using third-party viewers. I really don't understand the appeal of these viewers and why anyone would be compelled to use them when the current SL client seems to be functioning well (well within reason anyway). Which brings me to my question? What motivates you to use a third-party viewer? Is it the "features”, the user interface, or are you just trying to buck the system?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Firestorm; used Phoenix before that; and used Emerald before that (and before they decided to write bad things into their code...). I use TPV's because they work better for me. I seem to experience less problems with them than I do with the official viewer. I also prefer the interface, but I'm sure that, given time, I could adjust to the official viewer interface if I tried.

I think that, as with most things, it's a case of what works best for the individual - and their computer, of course. Firestorm works for me, but apparently doesn't work for you. V3 works for you, but doesn't really work for me.

I've never considered the use of a TPV to be "bucking the system." In actuality, I think more people use TPV's than use the official viewer. I started using Emerald when it was suggested to me by a friend, and I found that it worked much better for me than the official viewer. I had people then asking "Why do you use Emerald? What do you mean it works better? The official viewer works great!" I get the same questions and responses now in regards to "Why do I use Firestorm?" (Or Phoenix, which I still sometimes log in to as it gives me less lag.) It simply works better for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


JWtheJayhawk wrote:

I recently downloaded and installed the third-party viewer firestorm. After trying it out for a short time I was unimpressed (to put it mildly) and went back to using the regular Second Life client.

 

Thanks to a feature inside firestorm I noticed a great many of you were using third-party viewers. I really don't understand the appeal of these viewers and why anyone would be compelled to use them when the current SL client seems to be functioning well (well within reason anyway). Which brings me to my question?
What motivates you to use a third-party viewer?
Is it the "features”, the user interface, or are you just trying to buck the system?

 

Viewer 2  (a disaster!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Firestorm now.  I used Kirsten's Viewer before development stopped.  The main reasons for using third party viewers for me is that they usually have additional desirable features that the LL viewer lacks, and the developers seem to be much more open to adding features that users want.  An additional reason for my not using the current release of the LL viewer is that I cannot because it always crashes on startup.

Users of TPVs are certainly not "bucking the system."  TPVs were a predictable and expected outcome when LL made the viewer open source a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have brief flirtations with third-party viewers.  I used Kirsten's for the easy shadow settings (mostly for photos).  Then I liked Firestorm for a while, back when LL couldn't bring itself to do anything sensible with the sidebar.  Now that Linden has made all the buttons optional, I've mostly used V3 (although the HDR rendering in exodusviewer has some appeal for photo work--if my GPU doesn't melt).

There are lots of people, however, who still like the V1 interface, so they use viewers based on that.  I can understand familiarity, I guess.  Personally, however, I hated V1's UI for the entire four years that I used it; V2 was a big disappointment, but V3 seems to finally be making progress -- for my purposes, more generally useful progress than the specific features I sometimes use from TPVs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't agree more.

Many viewers i have been trying lately again including FS since V2.8 came out which has crippled FPS for too many. 

I think most just prefer extra options because speed it can hardly be to my opinion. Some just swear to a certain 3rd viewer because of a specific option they like or as part of being a 'cult', or just following the masses.

Also many are trying to find a viewer that actually works since V2.8. But at this moment, i can't find any. I tried Cool viewer today. It was speedy but cashed every time i clicked the minimap button (no wonder because the code is Snowglobe based, thus very buggy). And after uninstalling most of my programs hung, CCleaner stopped working, it messed up my registry. I have tried FS, it was laggy as hell. I am not going to even try the Singularity viewer since it is Snowglobe based too. I have tried Kirsten's viewer. It was slower with extra options i don't need.

Fingers crossed that LL will bring at least a viewer which can be used by the average user.

Whatever i try i always end up back to 1.23.5, not because i don't like changes, it's because no other viewer can imprress me at the moment, including FS, Phoenix, Cool. I haven't tried imprudence yet, but i don't see the point of using it. The extra options i don't need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second Ariel's post, although to be fair I began SL on Emerald without even knowing V1 existed, so I suppose I've always been biased. When Phoenix came along my computer struggled with some of the builds and I downloaded V2, but the shock of how ridiculously anti-intuative V2's GUI was sent me straight back to Phoenix. I haven't even tried V3 yet to be honest, though I've heard it's vastly better, and I'd consider switching if it turned out to have dramatically shiny performance. Memories of V2 still make me twitch though.

In addition, I was a huge supporter of Kirstens Viewer until it sadly went out of development recently. It was gorgeous for SL photography -- for tweaking windlight, shadows, depth-of-field -- but I didn't use it for everyday wandering since it had a tendancy to crash for me. Exodus Viewer has become my new favourite, but again, mostly just for film and photography.

Some months ago in the Machinima Mondays group there was a discusion with one of the Lindens about introducing a completely stripped-down viewer for SL machinimists. I've been a bit out of the loop so have no idea what (if anything) became of it, but I'd certainly use something like that, too. :}

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started using TPVs about a year and a half ago when, through a reference in a forum post, I gave Kirsten's Viewer a try.  Immediately I was hooked; the graphics were phenomenal, and I was seeing SL in an entirely new light.  Up until the recent withdrawl of KV from the actively-updated list, I saw the introduction of higher-definition shadows, long-before the LL viewer and other TPVs like Imprudence started toying with them (to each thier own, but the shadows in Imprudence and LL were terrible until recently).

That was the main reason I started using TPVs; Developers usually target thier viewer towards a more specialized niche, be it graphics, performance, V1-style, combat performance, etc.  With so many niche viewers, users have a wide range of options available to them, wheras the LL viewer has to be everything to everybody.  There's an old engineering addage: If you design something to do more than one thing, it probably won't do any of them well.

Since Kirsten's has stopped development, I've been using Niran's Viewer.  The principle of my choice is still the same;  while in-world, I just can't enjoy it without the AntiAliasing, SSAO, shadows, and a respectable framerate, and all of these full-time...not just for photography.  On the other hand, I use Exodus for OpenSim as it gives me a minor increase in FPS, at the expense of quality.

[...to all the Exodus users who will be tempted to flame me for saying that, let's keep it civil, huh?...] 

My point is, in regards to the OP, my choice of TPV is tailored to my needs.  That is the beauty of having the choices that these Devs give us, and I suppose the only way to find out for yourself is to try a few out.  There's a wealth of user experience with the various TPVs and thier respective highlights right here in these forums.

Take care! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I originally started with the SL viewer and switched to Emerald when a friend recommended it. Now I'm using Phoenix. I"ll probably switch to Firestorm when they stop developing Phoenix. Why I use a TP viewer is because it's a lot faster and more stable for me than the offiical SL viewer and I like the interface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


lianna Garnet wrote:

 

Since Kirsten's has stopped development, I've been using Niran's Viewer. 

 

 

I'm excited to try Niran's-- there are a couple of things in Exodus that bother me, though perhaps they'll be fixed in future releases. I did hear Niran's being highly praised for it's ability to make gorgeous machinima, but I don't forsee being able to take advantage of it fully (or Exodus, for that matter) until I get a new computer. :smileysad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not on TPVs anymore. Emerald used to appeal because it had useful features. After the team outed themselves as a bunch of criminals, I switched to Cool VL Viewer briefly, then Kirstens. Nowadays I'm on LLs viewer. TPVs offer options LL stubbornly refuses to add. What their customers want is rather not what LL cares about. That's one possible reason to use them. The other is that some TPVs run better for some people.

[rant]

Unfortunately, LL and the TPV non-community show exactly how open source development can go horribly wrong. Fixes or even useful features from TPVs very rarely get implemented into the official viewer, regardless of how much sense they make. Everyone forked their own crap and jealously guards it against "competition". Divide and conquer? Not really. More like "we roxors, u suxors" ego trips.

[/rant]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spend 95% of my time in-world building, I find TPV's to be much more efficient for a variety reasons, free temp texture uploads (which have saved me thousands of L$) and more precise prim sizing and positioning to name just a couple. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an aversion to allowing programnmes by unknown people to run on my computer, so I stuck with the LL's V1 viewer right up until they decided not to improve it, and moved completely onto the V2. The V2 was an utter disaster. LL actually had a poll about the V2 in the forum, and 95% of all who did the poll were against it - 95%!!! So what did LL do? They did what they do best - ignored the customers and pressed on with the V2 regardless.

The V3 is a massive improvement over the V2 and I'd use it but I got used to some extras in a third party viewer (Phoenix). Also, since I updated the V3, I can't stay logged in with it. It crashes me out all the time, so it's no good any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil Deakins wrote:

Also, since I updated the V3, I can't stay logged in with it. It crashes me out all the time, so it's no good any more.


You know, I think I'd gladly give up some of the "improved" amazingness of SL in exchange for simple joys like being able to see everything without needing the most high-end machine, and actually... not crash. :}

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a number of reasons people choose the the viewers they do, not everyones' experiences will be identical.

When LL first introduced "Viewer 2", the UI was a mess.This soured a lot of people on LL's attempts to improve the UI. A lot of people won't give it a chance even now, despite the fact that all the major problems of the initial release are history and it brings along a lot of much needed improvements.

 Other people have more justifiable concerns, the way LL buried menu options and broke certain building tools means that content creators have to do a lot more work to do the exact same things they used to do much more quickly in the V1 UI.

Then, on top of that, there's the issue of performance. This is where people's experiences can vary the most and it can change from release to release.

 Right now I find LL's official viewer gives me the best performance, in terms of framerate and stability. Up until a couple releases ago, the opposite was true. In fact, for the entirety f last year, up until the past couple releases, LL's viewers were so bad they were entirely unusable for me. Maybe the next release will push me back to Firestorm, or maybe I'll need to track down another third party viewer entirely!

 

 I do know that LL has been implementing a lot of good changes and features lately. I won't use a viewer that doesn't support mesh and the so-called "social profiles", these are fantastic features.

 On the other hand, LL still lacks a lot of features that have become standard for everyone else. I want a client side AO, qarl's prim alignment tool and the fixes he did for the Linden grass tools, I want the appearance editor to show correct height (the official viewer is short by half a foot or more), I want an avatar radar that tells me how far away people are and lets me zoom my camera in on them just by double clicking their name in the list! LL has yet to deliver on any of this, and more, despite these features being common in TPVs for years now.

 

 So, there's definitely a lot to consider and your experiences will not be the same as everyone else's. Here's to having options, so we can all enjoy SL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all who responded to my post!:smileyvery-happy:

I had lost sight of the fact that there are many different ways to lead your SL life and for a lot of people the standard SL client just won't cut it. I am happy with the current viewer that Linden labs has put out. It has improved significantly over the past year but there is still a great deal of space for improvement. The fact that people are forced to use phoenix or firestorm just to keep their machines from crashing is wrong.

Overall I have gained a greater understanding of what the third-party viewer means to people and it makes me happy that people have a wide array of choices when approaching their Second Life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I switched to Firestorm because of a specific bug in the Linden viewer that was not getting fixed and was visible to other players as well as myself. If Firestorm gets a bug like that I may update my Linden viewer and try it out again. For me it's not about loyalty or feeling speshul, it's all about what works best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all as far as I am concerned, "It's Your World, Your Choice Of Viewers."

I first switched to Emerald because it put at my fingertips functions I regularly used, that I was always having to dig through menus in the official viewer to find.  I switched to Phoenix when Emerald was banned for the same reason.

As many have stated, the UI on the original V2 was personally horrible to me.  There were a few people who claimed to like it, but as also pointed out above, in the LL Survey, 95% rejected it.

When Firestorm came out I hesitated a while before deciding to give it a spin myself.

While I did have to go through a small learning curve, I fell in love with it's performance.  Significantly faster frame rates, faster rezzing, etc.  fabulous customization to suit my needs.  Now any time I log in with a V1 based viewer, the controls just seem plain klunky to me.

I have tried and looked at the Official V3 with an open mind and its layout, customizations, etc, don't measure up to Firestorm.  It is a huge improvement over V2 as far as the GUI goes.  But it still has a long way to go.

This is my personal experience and choice.  There are others who prefer other Viewers because they work best for them.  I have checked out others and I prefer Firestorm.  I criticize no ones individual choice.

However,

I will ask the OP this question.  Did you watch any of the Video Tutorials for Firestorm before you tried it or did you just install it and try flying blind?  90% of the complaints I have heard about Firestorm were issues covered in the Tutorials, resolved by simple customizations that are there in the GUI.

I would consider trying out any other Viewer with out recognizing there will be a learning curve pretty foolish.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Linda Brynner wrote:

I can't agree more.

Many viewers i have been trying lately again including FS since V2.8 came out which has crippled FPS for too many. 


There is a JIRA that relates to the rendering of alpha textures that appears to have caused huge frame rate problems for some users.  All TPV's inherited the problem because it is in the base code.  On Jan 4 the fix passed quality assurance and I am waiting for its release into the wild.  Right now I can't use any V3 based viewer without abysmal results.  I have my fingers crossed big that this fixes the issue for me as well as everyone else who is having this problem.

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SH-2694?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:all-tabpanel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will ask the OP this question.  Did you watch any of the Video Tutorials for Firestorm before you tried it or did you just install it and try flying blind?  90% of the complaints I have heard about Firestorm were issues covered in the Tutorials, resolved by simple customizations that are there in the GUI.

 

To answer your question Perrie yes I did take in a few video tutorials after I had downloaded and installed firestorm. I than meticulously went through the preferences section and made every adjustment I thought would help me enjoy firestorm more and even after all that I still found the firestorm user interface to be hideous to look at. Despite this fact I decided to keep firestorm around for a while longer but when I logged into the main SL client firestorm began to interfere with its performance. This ultimately led me to uninstall firestorm from my computer and because of firestorms bugginess I had to uninstall and reinstall the Second Life client.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've been using LL's v3 since beta and have really liked it..although before that i had used the firestorm viewer which was in my opinion one of the better v2 viewers...

i just kind of fell in love with the V3 and haven't tried anything that really makes me want to change yet..i'm hoping the tpv's will mess with the V3 ..i would love to see the features they add to it..

i think viewers are just a preference thing that each user can enjoy having the options available..tpv's have their advantages on some things for certain users..while others may not really want those things..

i guess it depends on who wants what really  as to what they feel they will use =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


JWtheJayhawk wrote:


I will ask the OP this question.  Did you watch any of the Video Tutorials for Firestorm before you tried it or did you just install it and try flying blind?  90% of the complaints I have heard about Firestorm were issues covered in the Tutorials, resolved by simple customizations that are there in the GUI.

 

To answer your question Perrie yes I did take in a few video tutorials after I had downloaded and installed firestorm. I than meticulously went through the preferences section and made every adjustment I thought would help me enjoy firestorm more and even after all that I still found the firestorm user interface to be hideous to look at. Despite this fact I decided to keep firestorm around for a while longer but when I logged into the main SL client firestorm began to interfere with its performance. This ultimately led me to uninstall firestorm from my computer and because of firestorms bugginess I had to uninstall and reinstall the Second Life client.

cool

I too have found that logging in with one sometimes messes up my settings in the other.  seems to go both ways for me.

i should probably make a back up copy of the settings file so all i'd need to do is drop it in the program files rather than having to re do all my settings whenever this occurs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short answer as to why I refuse to use a LL created viewer.....TPV creators actually listen...LL rarely does.

That's really the long and short of it, for me. TPVs offer (and have for quite some time) far more than an official viewer ever has, perhaps maybe even ever will. LL has a canny knack for not listening. They've implemented some things, but I won't pat them on the back for it, they didn't put it there because they wanted to, they did it because all the cool kids were doing it and they needed to compete. As far as their viewers go...epic failboat, for some time now. They did implement a few new things people wanted, but those aren't "new to the grid" type things, just new to their viewers. They're all things other viewers already had (or were being worked on in some cases).

I use firestorm when I want to go into the realms. But I still have to dumb it way down to get things to work right. A big part of that is my system, so definitely not entirely the viewer's fault, of course. I can't use any LL V2 or V3 viewer so far, even with it dumbed down(graphically speaking) and it go smoothly. In the case of those viewers it's *not my machine contributing to the biggest piece of what's really going on, but rather the viewer.(still my machine has some effect, though minor). My favorite viewer is phoenix, and has been for a while, well ever since emerald went kaput anyway. I still check out official viewers from time to time, to see what, if anything, has improved. They're moving slower than frozen molasses off a snail's tail on improving it though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only real features I've noticed in any TPV is the command to move to any height, and temp-uploads of textures.

Everything else just seemed a case of whether one likes the cheese on the plate or in the bowl...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perrie Juran wrote: 

To answer your question Perrie yes I did take in a few video tutorials after I had downloaded and installed firestorm. I than 

I too have found that logging in with one sometimes messes up my settings in the other.  seems to go both ways for me.

i should probably make a back up copy of the settings file so all i'd need to do is drop it in the program files rather than having to re do all my settings whenever this occurs.

I use a different settings file for each viewer.  You can use the command line settings switch to designate a different one for each (  " --settings firstorm.xml"), so that it's not trouble at all after you configure it the first time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...